The Minimal 2200G Build – First video, and how it was created

I feel bad calling this series ‘The Minimal 2200G Build’, now that I’ve added another 4GB RAM, but I’ll continue with the name for consistency’s stake. 🙂 I do plan to test the 4GB configuration.

My first video is up. It’s a test for creating videos, so isn’t all I wanted to show, but any start is a good start. It shows the system running the Metro: Last Light Redux benchmark at default (low) settings at 1080p, with system power shown as measured by my cheapowatt (that’s my power meter’s nickname).

For those who are interested in making videos, or are interested in telling me how to make them better, here’s how this one was made.

The game capture was made with Hauppauge’s HD PVR 2. It was once used for recording stuff off TV, but now that we’ve moved to streaming TV it’s been repurposed for the 2200G project. The good thing about it is that it doesn’t require any resources from the 2200G to create a video.

As a side note, the latest Hauppauge Capture software available for download on Hauppauge’s site, version 35054, isn’t actually the latest, which is 35248, as mentioned here, and which improves snapshot quality (not that I’ve used the feature). Hauppauge told me on the 26th of March that they are ‘just about ready to post a new version’. Nothing yet.

I took a video of my cheapowatt using a Canon IXUS 145 pocket camera. That was a birthday gift my daughter got a few years ago, but since I couldn’t find the charger for any other camera, I used this one. My daughter now has a smartphone, so has no need of a camera, but a real camera is useful because it can stand on its side, and I set it on a bar stool and propped the cheapowatt at the side of the TV. The video was recorded at 720p@25Hz. I thought there might be an option to increase the resolution, but no, that’s the maximum. Oh, well.

For editing the video I used VEGAS Pro 14 Edit, which is currently $20 at the Humble Software Bundle (this price also gets you a lot of other software). There are free alternatives, but I figured that $20 isn’t too high, and the software is considered easy to use and reasonably powerful.

The way I went about merging the two videos was to first to cut both videos to show just the second run of the benchmark (more or less). I then added a rectangular cookie cutter effect to the capture track, and used track motion on the cheapowatt recording to place the TV corner in that rectangle. I then dragged the tracks (after setting the grid spacing option to frames, which I think helped) so that both the capture and the TV’s time looked synced. I then trimmed them to the same length. After that I played with the cookie cutter and track motion so that only the cheapowatt’s display showed.

I rendered as Sony AVC and uploaded to YouTube.

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